I love books, as you probably guess. I have always loved books, and as a child my bedroom was filled with books, favourites were of course, Roald Dahl, Dick King Smith and Michael Morpurgo. I also read Lord of the Flies when I was in primary school and have a couple of my dad’s childhood books, including ‘Gumphlumph’ which is a very old copy now!
As a child I loved nothing more than heading to Waterstones on Deansgate, Manchester. I still love that store now. I was fortunate that my birthday falls two weeks before Christmas and so I was often given book tokens for one or both events by my family – January was spent begging my parents to take me to Waterstones to get my books for the next few months.
So… I’ve always had a passion for books. I love all types of book; old books, that have that well thumbed look and feel about them, and I love the smell of crisp new books, and being the first to read them. I spend many a lunchtime perusing the shelves of WH Smith in the train station… somehow managing to refrain from picking up a book. I read a wide range of books, mostly crime/thriller books but also chick-lit, romance, historical saga etc. Pretty much anything.
I’ve already written in a previous blog post here, that I love my Kindle, and despite being a bit of a Luddite about it, have grown to really appreciate the exciting new world of indie authors that it’s opened me up to.
So.. what do YOU expect from an ebook?
I’ll say it now… for me an ebook is never going to have the same presentation and feel as a physical book, but does that make the finish any less important?
Readers of this blog and twitter followers will have seen that I read a lot of books, averaging three a week, and I am uncompromising in my expectations. I find all too often that ebooks are lacking that final finish…. for me it makes a real difference. For example, I want a front cover, I want the book to be well-edited, I want the book to be formatted correctly.
At lunch with some friends a week or so ago, I told them about my foray into the world of book reviewing, and one friend said ‘I love it when I find a spelling error in a book – it’s like when you find them in the newspapers…’. What she meant by this is that it’s so rare and infrequent that it’s almost a triumph to find an error. So why are errors so frequent in ebooks by indie authors?
Let me say I am in awe of all authors – I am not creative enough to even begin to think of a story, and I don’t mean my comments as criticisms, but it seems to me that if you’re going to invest the time in writing a book, then surely it’s worth that last bit of effort to get the packaging right?
What is your opinion? Should authors and e-publishers be striving for the same levels of editing and finish readers would find in a traditional book or am I just being a bit picky and it doesn’t really matter?
For me, when editing is done well then it makes a huge difference. I understand that a recent author whose book I gave a five star review to used Daniel Goldsmith to edit his book. I really cannot state just what a difference it made to the reader experience. The book was flawless with tight story lines and characters and editing that was sublime. I’ve since received a physical copy of the book and it is every bit as good as I had expected. It looks professional and looks like it belongs on the shelves of Waterstones. I’ve received other hard copies of indie books that haven’t been quite as professional in their appearance.
So, dear readers…. it matters to me, but does the finish of an ebook matter as much to you?